Saturday, February 15, 2014

Story 20: Vive L’Opera, Act II

Il Mascalzone (The Scoundrel)

            (The setting: a quiet street on a busy day in 19th-century Florence)
            (Enter: Two Servants)
            Servant 1: <Our master is a scoundrel!>
            Servant 2: <And his next target is the maiden living next door!>
            Servant: <How his shenanigans brighten our days!>
            (Exit: Two Servants.  Enter: The Scoundrel)
            The Scoundrel: <Aria!  My life is very sad because I have no one I can really talk to.>
            (Enter: The Maiden)
            The Maiden: <Aria!  I spend my days marking time until I get married.>
            The Scoundrel:  <I can solve that problem for you.>
            (Enter: The Maiden’s Male Relative)
            The Maiden’s Male Relative: <Halt, The Scoundrel!  You will not denigrate my female relative into a notch on your disgusting belt!>
            The Scoundrel: <Flee!>   
           (Townspeople materialize from the wings; Servant 1 picks up The Scoundrel in a car and they drive off)
            The Maiden’s Male Relative: <What was that demon horseless carriage?>
            Townspeople: <Demon horseless carriage!>
            The Maiden: <I must plot how to preserve my honor!>
            (Enter: Servant 2 in disguise as a child)
Servant 2: <Allow me to assist you, wink, wink.>
            Townspeople: <What could possibly go wrong?>
            (The setting: The same street with darker lighting)
            (Enter: The Scoundrel, grandly, through the automatic doors of his mansion)
            The Scoundrel: <Aria 2!  I have scored yet again.>
            (Enter: The Maiden, wearing rags)
            The Maiden: <I am a ruined wretch!  How did I let this happen to me between acts?>
            The Scoundrel: <Let me recount.>
            (Puppeteers enter and re-enact the sordid story in pantomime.  From the direction of the void that faces the characters (aka “The Fourth Wall”) comes the shout: “What a dastard!”)
            The Maiden: <Tragic Aria!  Now what will I do with my life?>
            (Enter: The Foreigner)
            The Foreigner: <Now for something completely random – let me regale you with stories from my native Japan.>
            The Scoundrel: <You’re not from Japan.>
            The Foreigner: <I never let that stop me.>
            (Exit: The Foreigner.  Enter: The Maiden’s Male Relative and the Two Servants)
            The Maiden’s Male Relative: <A plague on ye for corrupting my female relative!>
            The Scoundrel: <Next time keep a better eye on her, honored elder.>
            The Maiden’s Male Relative: <Strike you!>
           (He strikes at The Scoundrel and misses.  Servant 1 mortally strikes The Maiden’s Male Relative; The Maiden mortally strikes Servant 1; Servant 2 mortally strikes The Maiden; and The Scoundrel mortally strikes Servant 2 in order not to be left out of the action)
            Dying Characters: (In four-part harmony) <Alas!> (They die)
            The Scoundrel: <Ah me, onto my next conquest!>
            (Enter: The Foreigner)
            The Foreigner: <Little does he know that this is the just the right cause to avenge that I have been looking for all my life!> (He discards his disguise and reveals that he is in law enforcement) <Halt!  Police!  Your dastardly ways are at an end!>
The Scoundrel: <Alas!  And woe.>
(Justice is served, but too late for any of the good guys)